ROXBURY – It was just four years ago that the New Mission volleyball team wrapped a two-win season as a different team celebrated a Boston City League title.
Friday afternoon, for the first time ever, the Titans finally got to enjoy the spoils of a city championship themselves inside the Madidome at Madison Park.
Behind elite serving and the well-balanced performance the team has boasted all year, New Mission rode large chunks of points at a time en route to a 3-0 (25-21, 25-13, 25-19) win over O’Bryant in the league title game.
Courtney Sarfo dialed up 12 of the Titans’ 21 aces on the day, pairing with her nine kills and a block to earn the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award.
“It’s a special moment for them, particularly with where we came from,” said New Mission head coach Modesto Gomez. “There was a lot of work that was put in, big commitment to get to this point. … They were just very dedicated to this moment.”
While Sarfo led the service attack, New Mission was far from one dimensional in the matchup.
After nerves seemed to lead to a slow start, the serve-receive kicked into gear and the Titans were tough to bog down in the first set. A 3-0 deficit quickly turned into a 10-7 advantage as the Tigers couldn’t read Sarfo’s serves and Liselott Fermín (20 assists, four aces) found Sumaya Barre (four kills, three assists, two aces) for a couple points. Good passing from O’Bryant and a bevy of service errors around the aces kept the set competitive, but New Mission was able to edge out the 25-21 win for a 1-0 lead.
It was mostly the Titans’ game to lose from there, with Barre, Fermín, Sarfo and Diana Faustin (five kills) each picking up points for a 13-2 lead in the second set. The Tigers bounced back with five straight to gain back a little momentum, but Victoria Pessoa (seven kills, three aces) started to heat up to help power a 25-13 second set.
O’Bryant gave another great fight in the third set, but New Mission’s depth proved too much to overcome. Khalihah Pritchard and Alani Rose also played well for the Titans.
“As long as we played defense, I knew our offense would take care of itself,” Gomez said. “It just takes a whole team. There’s not one real superstar on this team, we really don’t have that. It took a whole team effort.”